and putting complete trust into a coach who I thought had my best interest at heart but I won’t name names. Coach told me to jump, I would only say “how high?” I kept telling myself to trust the process, through training I hated which was purely strength-based and low volume since my coach believed that heavy compounds were the only way to build size. (Don’t get me wrong, I think strength and compound lifts are great and have a place in a bodybuilding program. Although not to the extent you’re burned out and constantly battling injuries with a primary focus on the numbers instead of the contraction.)
I was injured, burnt out, hated food, got extreme anxiety at the idea of taking my shirt off anywhere and it simply perpetuated the body image issues I had that every person faces and probably more so in the physical culture community. I rationally knew things weren’t right, I had a ton of my own lifting experience, a formal education in kinesiology and had read countless articles and taken a ton of additional courses because I love to learn about it all. Contrary to this though, I also know I’ve only scratched the surface for knowledge and a coach is a very beneficial tool for any level of athlete assuming they have your interest at heart.
During this time, I had several friends telling me to trust my gut, one friend in particular who said for lack of a better term “screw him, cut and change your training, do what works and what you enjoy.” Finally, the tipping point happened when after minimal contact with my coach, sub-par replies when he did contact me back with a pile of excuses as to his negligence, he finally skipped town leaving all his clients high and dry…as a client and student myself, I was out over 1500$. For no one’s fault but my own, I paid far in advance as I knew down the road I’d still be doing this and the investment was worth it. At this time, that one friend reached out to me and told me he also was offering coaching, not once did he solicit his services to me due to his morals and ethics when it came to poaching clients. I respect him for that a ton, but screw that bastard’s morals, he should have offered them sooner because then I would have been shredded sooner! Haha…but moreover he also knew the financial hole this created and gave me 3 months of free coaching that to this day I appreciate endlessly. He’s helped me with more things than just training, through everything, I consider him one of my best friends and family at this point.
After starting with him, instead of slowly growing a sense of self-doubt and constantly saying to myself to simply trust the process and blindly following the tutelage of a coach, I felt the opposite…I hesitantly was gaining my confidence back as my physique slowly improved, injuries diminished and I was encouraged to give feedback as to what works for me. It was nice not only thinking that things were going to workout (no pun intended) but that I could actually see things working. Slowly my other friends and family members started seeing changes which only motivated me further. I went from hating food to enjoying it, I went from a crippling fear of taking my shirt off to taking my shirt off and trying to find that perfect lighting. The changes you see in this picture were more mental than physical as corny as that sounds and involved a ton of hard work, but just because it was hard doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy every moment about it. The point of this is to always remember that you need to enjoy what you’re doing to succeed in something. Secondly, that it’s important to put your trust in people and keep an open-mind but be able to distinguish that from blind faith. Lastly, at the end of the day, it’s never too late to change, as crappy as things may seem at that time or how dark they may appear, as long as there is a will, there is a way.
I just want to thank everyone who’s been supportive and especially thank the friend and secondly coach who’s helped me from that point. Cam Lam